Major League Baseball (MLB), a $10 billion industry, is determined there will be a 2020 season. They’re going to win, so I guess it’s time to join in.
Major League Baseball (MLB) will give us our baseball in 2020. There will be a concoction filled with formulas and computer-driven team schedules carefully calculated to make the best of a bad situation.
I’ve tried my best to voice objection to rushing into a resumption of the season, projected to be as soon as mid-May. But when you see and feel the hum of a freight train coming at you, it’s best to remove yourself from the track.
Setting The Record Straight
But in doing so, let’s make sure we set the record straight with MLB and the Player’s Association.
Neither party is moving forward with the season – for the fans. I repeat, this is not about us – it’s about them.
It’s about players who recently settled arbitration cases or have new contracts with the ink still not dry.
It’s about the home they purchased or the vacation they took, or the big wedding they wrote a check for – all leveraged against income that isn’t there.
It’s about sportswriters who have resorted to writing and filing stories to fill print that have no intrinsic value.
The good ones know it, and they want to get back to work.
It’s about players like Marcus Stroman (Mets), James Paxton (Yankees), Mookie Betts (Dodgers), and many others who are in their “walk year,” needing to establish their highest value during the 2020 season.
And then, there are the sports-driven TV networks, both local, regional, and national – all of whom have interns on their hands and knees in the basement wiping the dust off old MLB “Best Of” replays, in place of original programming they are not programmed to produce.
Finally, MLB, and especially Commissioner Rob Manfred, are finding it impossible to ignore team owners who have yet to record an entry on the accounts receivable side of their ledger.
With wide variations, owners have authorized partial or full payments to stadium workers for games and work opportunities missed through no fault of their own.
Owners are also paying pro-rated salaries to players who are not working, and the crunch of paying out bonuses to draft choices is imminent.
MLB: Launch Or Abort?
And so, after a while, it reduces to a simple yes or no question faced numerous times by NASA’s mission control director on a cloudy day with vision severely limited.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) says it’s a go, but you must follow protocol to the letter. And you can bet MLB lawyers will scour those recommendations before one pitch is thrown.
That protocol has yet to be established by MLB before the season gets underway. Again, please refer to yesterday’s column for a summary of areas subject to a resolution before the season can resume.
MLB 2020 Season: Opinion Varies But…
Playing major league baseball anywhere on this planet amid a pandemic is generally equated to a suicide mission.
Still, opinions vary. So, let’s conclude with an array of views from media outlets in major league cities who have a vested interest in what is about to happen.
- “By The Time We Get To Phoenix” – Seattle Times.
- “MLB’s Crazy Arizona Plan” – USA Today
- “No, Baseball In May Doesn’t Work For Us” – Arizona Central
- “How A Season In Arizona Could Work” – Bleeding Cubbie Blue
MLB Moving Forward – Hope For The Best
So as you can see, the choices are wide and varied.
Whether you reside in the White House or the headquarters of Major League Baseball on the Avenue Of America’s in New York City, none of the parties want to end up with blood on their hands.
But make no mistake, the stakes are high. Team owners have substantial investments in the players they are ordering to work when the season resumes.
Players will suffer the indignity of constant testing “jail time” under the alias of quarantine during their entire stay in Arizona.
Is it worth it? I’m still not convinced. But when you deem the fight to be irrefutably lost, as we saw yesterday when Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, it’s usually best to step aside – and hope for the best.
After all, I need my baseball too. They’re gonna do it anyway, and as long as I don’t see this sold as “for the fans” – Play Ball!